Aug 25, 2010 7:10 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Tour of Duty Comes Through Acadiana

The Tour of Duty made their way through Acadiana today.

Thirty-six firefighters from America and Australia are braving the sweltering summer heat to run across the country in honor of those fallen on 9/11. The group began their journey on August 12th in California. They are scheduled to arrive at The World Trade Center on September 11th.

Dan Steffens,works for the N.Y. Port Authority, he's stationed at the World Trade Center. He said, "in a twenty-four hour period, we probably run ten to twelve miles."

He felt it was important to join in on the cause-making sure no-one forgets the heartache that 9/11 brought to so many people. Steffens said, " we lost thirty lives that day-- the largest single loss of any police department ever."

One of the runners from Melbourne, Australia, Paul Phiffer, was born in the U.S. He has been a firefighter in Australia for the past 16 years

He remembers that tragic day--"on 9/11 i felt the farthest away from home I ever had. I just wanted to pick up and come home and be with my family."

Phiffer said the impact of 9/11 was felt all over the world.

" As a firefighter we wanted to take our bunker gear and go help out the guys there," he explained.

Greg matusoff works as a firefighter in New Orleans-- he says it felt great to pass the Louisiana state line.

Matusoff said, "all the guys from N.Y. came down and helped during Katrina. This is a really great thing for two countries to come together and acknowledge what happened and say we aren't gonna take it."

The runners hit their first road block on their journey shortly after they passed the Louisiana state line. State Troopers said they couldn't run along Interstate-10.

They detoured to Highway 190, which may cost them some time, but they're still hoping to make it to New Orleans by tomorrow afternoon.

You can make donations and track their progress at



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